Don’t let social media derail your job search

Do you have “linkbait” on your Facebook page to a gross YouTube clip or, even worse, to articles affirming your stance on polarizing political issues? If so,  please realize that you have a 50/50 chance of offending a potential employer. At the very least, they probably won’t find an annoying stupid human trick funny or agree with your political view. Are you guilty of the “boredom update”? You’re tired, bored, sleepy… i.e. (in the eyes of a hiring manager) unmotivated. Have you Twittered about your “buisness”? If, like me, you’ve been guilty of these social media crimes, read on.

I was recently alerted to the most comprehensive article on the pitfalls of social media sites (such as Twitter and Facebook) when it comes to a job search I have yet to read. The article, entitled “The 10 Worst Social Media Mistakes That Will Prevent You From Landing a Job,” is an in-depth look at common social media mistakes many military job seekers are making through the eyes of potential employers. It even comes complete with external links, resources, and examples. Here are some things you can expect to learn about:

  • The dangers of sharing too much information.
  • How to customize backgrounds and graphics to make you standout from the crowd.
  • Why having too many friends isn’t necessarily a good thing.
  • How to create separate social and business accounts and why you should do so.
  • When and what to (or what not to) “update”.
  • Why spam, spelling mistakes, and other commonly overlooked issues could hold you back.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

While making one or more of the 10 worst social media mistakes can keep you from landing a job, there are also positive ways to socialize. Because many of us find jobs through friends, a simple “anyone hiring a blank?” update can actually be worth the five seconds it takes to post it. In addition, if there is a company you would really like to work for, be their friend on social media. Not only can you get hiring updates, but it also offers an insight to what excites them, what they are up to, and much more.

You can count on a compelling, professionally written military resume to spark employers’ interest in your value offered. But you can also count on their interest in your social media activities. So before you apply for that dream job, make social media work for and not against you.